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Clarke retains place for final Australia warm-up

July 1, 2013

WORCESTER, England (AP) — Michael Clarke will play for Australia in its final warm-up game before the Ashes, giving the captain another opportunity to improve his match sharpness after a long-standing back injury.

Clarke was retained in a much-changed Australia lineup for a tour match against Worcestershire starting Tuesday after coming through the recent four-day game against Somerset — his first outing in three months.

He scored 45 and 26 in his two innings at Taunton.

New coach Darren Lehmann has made five changes to his team on Monday, with fast bowlers Jackson Bird and Ryan Harris among the players handed chances to stake a claim for a starting spot in the first Ashes test against England beginning July 10.

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